How to choose...
We can’t post every political book we hear of on our website, but we do have some simple criteria we use in choosing which ones get posted and which ones don’t. We reserve the right to be choosy in this regard and we think you will come to appreciate that. We like to hear from you about books we have posted and those you think we should post. Please note the criteria below:
Availability to readers: It should be readily accessible through book stores or libraries. A big clue for us is the number of people who have given an Amazon rating. If over 100 people have rated the book, it is likely to be obtainable. Of course, if a book is just published, an exception would be made, allowing time for it to accumulate views.
Solid link with a political theme: Sometimes a book looks very interesting, perhaps historical, or philosophical, but you would have to dig for political implications.
Timeliness: The material must be current and should be published within the last 2-3 years, depending on the topic. The more recent, the better, although this has to be weighed against the availability factor. An exception would be made for classics in a field, or those which were written earlier but remain very relevant.
A moderate/liberal leaning preferred: We are working with a group of Independents and Democrats. What can we say? If you are working with a Republican group, many of these books would work for you, but not all. You might want to include books with a more conservative view and, as we get going, perhaps we could add a theme to that effect. This criteria is not set in stone. For example, Jeff Flake’s A Conservative with Conscience might be fascinating to read.
Quality: In general, we look for a rating of 4 or more out of a possible 5 in an Amazon rating.
Discussability: The best discussion books deal with issues, themes and problems. We want to engender lively conversation. Occasionally, you can’t get there from certain books.
Leaders’ experience with the book’s use in discussion: Some of you are going to be telling us, “We tried this book and it was a great discussion.” That is a book very likely to get posted.